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In attempting to trace the history of the school, one of the aspects that has caused some head scratching has been the school name. Apart from a number of official changes of title, local people have tended to use their own "colloquial" names over the years. Set out below is a summary our findings and problems to date!....


Name From To Explanation
Whitstable Boys Board School 1877 1905? As described in our history page, this was the original name and it reflected the fact that the school was founded and administered by a local School Board. The board was set up under the terms of the Education Act 1870 by the Committee of Council on Education (a forerunner of a government Education department). At that time, the Oxford Street site was also home to a Whitstable Girls Board School and a Whitstable Infants Board School.

The use of the term "Board School" distinguished establishments from other schools administered by Church Trusts

The colloquial name of the day was probably  "The Boys Board School".  

Whitstable Boys Council School 1905? 1945 This title was introduced after the Education Act of 1904 abolished school boards and established a Local Education Authority at Kent County Council. We do not know precisely when but it seems likely to have been shortly after the legislation was passed.

Colloquial names included "Whitstable Boys", "The Council School"... and even "The Big Boys School"!. 

Whitstable Boys Primary School 


Whitstable County Primary Boys School

1945 1978 John Harman recalls the name "Boys Primary School" name being introduced in 1945. This ties in with the Butler Education Act of 1944 which introduced secondary education for all and defined boundaries between  Primary (up to age 11) and Secondary (age 12 plus).

It was perhaps a name ahead of its time! Whitstable did not actually have a separate senior school until the brand new Sir William Nottidge Secondary Modern opened its doors at Bellevue Road in 1952. In the meantime, the Oxford Street establishment continued to cater for both Primary and Secondary boys.

At some stage, the word "County" was added... but we do not know precisely when. I suspect that it was in  use by the mid-1950s and it was certainly in place when the school published its centenary booklet in 1977.  

Mind you, it wasn't just the authorities that were toying with names during this period. The great Whitstable public was also getting involved with a whole host of "colloquial" names including.... "The Boys School"... "Whitstable Boys"... "Whitstable Junior"... "Whitstable County"... "Whitstable Primary"... "The County"... "The Juniors".... "The Junior School"...  "The Junior Boys".... "The County Primary"... "The County Junior"... "Oxford Street"... "Oxford Street Primary"... "Oxford Street Junior".... and "Oxford Street Boys".

Take your pick!

Whitstable Junior School 1979? Date Nowadays, the school is listed simply as Whitstable Junior School.

We do not yet know the date that this title was introduced but we suspect that it was probably 1979 when the school became co-ed. Clearly, the word "Boys" would have been dropped at that stage. 

It also seems likely that "Primary" would also have been removed as it was somewhat misleading. By then the term was being used to describe the first years of formal education (ie from age 5) whereas the school actually received its intake of pupils from St Alphege and Westmeads at the age of 7.


At the moment, our records are in a mess. So, can you help by reading the name from your old school reports and emailing it to us.

Perhaps, the best way to sum  it all up is to point out that, after almost 30 years of co-ed, some of us still call it "The Boys School"... and the rest of us know what we are talking about. 

That's what being a Native is all about!!!!!


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